You will never talk me out of my unshakeable belief that the Falcons, with a couple of additions to the roster and a better first year from Steve Sarkisian, would have been a Super Bowl caliber team in 2017. The offense ultimately doomed them, again and again, with its sharp regression.
That said, just how bad were offenses across the NFL in 2017? It turns out that in many significant ways, as Danny Kelly from The Ringer chronicles, they were significantly worse than in 2016 more or less across the board, and in some metrics the NFL was worse on offense than it has been since 2009. That’s pretty striking, as is the fact that only two wide receivers hit 10 touchdown receptions this season.
As Kelly notes, injury played a major role in that, though not so much for the Falcons. It is frustrating to know that Atlanta hit a lull at the same time as the rest of the league and was unable to ride the defense to a deeper playoff run, but it is also comforting in some ways to know that the league suffered regression more or less across the board, too.
It is possible to envision some degree of bounceback for Atlanta in 2018 on offense, especially if they do tweak their roster. With the dip in production we saw this year, we’ll hope that rebound is enough to put them back among the league’s very best offenses, and to help carry them to yet another deep playoff run.